Georgia Tech-led research group gets $65 million to develop AI tools

A coalition led by Georgia Tech’s Research Corporation will receive about $65 million to increase ongoing artificial intelligence efforts across the state’s industrial sectors, federal officials announced Friday.

The Georgia AI Manufacturing (GA-AIM) coalition is one of 21 winners of the Biden administration’s $1 billion Build Back Better Regional Challenge, funded by the American Rescue Plan and administered by the U.S. Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration.

Federal officials said in a news release that the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on global supply chains has created “renewed urgency” for manufacturing methods, and artificial intelligence “will soon be a ubiquitous feature of any successful manufacturer.”

“The GA-AIM coalition will establish the United States as a leader in AI manufacturing while ensuring these systems complement rather than replace existing workers,” the release said.

The money will establish a facility at Georgia Tech for research, testing and training. Coalition members across the state — such as the Technical College System of Georgia, Spelman College and the Georgia Minority Business Development Agency — will execute projects to expand awareness, training and job opportunities to underserved communities and businesses.

“Georgia Tech is honored to lead this vision of collaborative innovation and economic development across all regions of our state,” Georgia Tech President Ángel Cabrera said in a statement. “This award underscores the Institute’s commitment to leverage our resources and expertise to address great challenges, serve our state and nation, and amplify our impact on the world.”

The Build Back Better Regional Challenge’s goals include helping rebuild regional economies and creating jobs by investing in growing industries such as clean energy, next-generation manufacturing, and biotechnology.

The American Rescue Plan, led by congressional Democrats, passed along party lines last year as an effort to provide economic pandemic relief nationwide. Some economists and critics say it has worsened inflation.